On June 20, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in the case of Shinal v. Toms that doctors have the duty to obtain informed consent from patients and cannot delegate that duty to their staff.
About 28,000 infants born in the United States each year—or 76 per day—suffer from a birth injury. In many instances, birth injuries arise due to medical mistakes, including miscommunication of pertinent medical information between practitioners during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Common birth injuries include, but are not limited to:
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes, or meninges, surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Easily mistaken as the flu, signs of meningitis may develop over several hours or one to two days. Symptoms usually include severe headaches, stiff neck, sudden high fever, vomiting, and confusion. There may be additional symptoms of nausea, seizures, drowsiness, sensitivity to light, lack of interest in eating and drinking, and, in some instances, a purplish skin rash.
Cerebral hypoxia is a medical term used to describe a decrease in oxygen to the brain. The brain is very sensitive to decreased levels of oxygen and brain cells can begin to die after four minutes of being deprived of oxygen. The sooner the hypoxia is diagnosed and the underlying cause treated, the lower the risk of severe brain damage.
Cerebral hypoxia or a lack of oxygen to the brain can be caused by many things, including:
A uterine rupture in a pregnant patient during labor can be a life-threatening complication for both a mother and unborn baby. When a uterus ruptures, it tears open into the abdominal cavity and can cause a mother to hemorrhage and decrease the amount of blood and oxygen reaching a baby.
A uterus can rupture during active labor due to weakening in a previous C-section scar, hyperstimulation of the uterus, frequent or constant contractions or induced labor with Pitocin or oxytocin.
Group B Streptococcus, or Group B Strep, is normal flora that lives in the abdomen and genital tract. The bacteria can live in a woman’s vagina without causing any signs or symptoms. It is not a sexually transmitted disease. However, a pregnant woman with Group B Strep, or GBS, can pass the bacteria on to her baby during vaginal delivery and it could lead to sepsis, bacterial meningitis, organ failure or even death of a newborn. It is impo
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective cover surrounding the brain and spinal cord due to an infection. Meningitis can be a life-threatening condition and should be treated as a medical emergency. The infection occurs most often in newborns, infants, children, young adults and college students due to the organisms group B strep, ecoli, listeria, nisseria or streptococcus.
Pre-eclampsia is the onset of high blood pressure or hypertension and proteinuria, or protein in the urine, in a pregnant woman who is past 20 weeks gestation. During each prenatal visit, your doctor or nurse should be checking your blood pressure for development of pregnancy induced hypertension and monitoring your urine for the presence of protein. If pre-eclampsia is not diagnosed or properly treated, it could lead to a decrease in blood supply and oxygen to a baby, causing brain injury or hypoxic ischemic encep